Favorite Holiday 2009 Value Sets at Sephora

Like any beauty product junkie, one of my favorite things to do is get lost in Sephora. I take in the sights (the shiny packaging, glittering substances, kaleidoscope of colors), sounds (the bumpin’ music), and smells (the latest designer fragrances, paraben-free lotions, and sometimes even lipglosses!). After I’ve swatched dozens of products on my hand and it’s raw from wiping off/reapplying, and I can no longer remove the last traces of glitter, I know it’s time to leave!

I can literally spend hours in Sephora (and sometimes have), and Friday night was one such night. In case you didn’t already know, Sephora is currently conducting their annual Friends and Family Sale where everything they sell is 20% off (online code is FF2009, thru. 11/2/09). I decided to stop by the store and scope out the products in person to decide what purchases I might want to make for myself and as holiday gifts.

I was pleasantly surprised that most of the lines I enjoy have started to sell their holiday value sets, which I love! I scoured every brand, checked out the packaging, the colors, and the quality of the product themselves, and decided to share my favorite holiday sets. To make it on my list, the product has to be cruelty-free, an excellent value, and high quality (great color payoff, wearability, and quality ingredients).

First off is the Tarte Treasure Chest

The nitty gritty: $52 for 32 all-new, full-sized eyeshadows (16 shimmering, 16 matte), 16 all-new lipglosses, Park Avenue Princess Mineral Powder Bronzer, soft pink luminizer, and 4 powder blushes.

Packaging: Not my favorite. Somewhat gaudy exterior (bejeweled metallic silver faux-leather material); nice and compact, but flimsy. A bit cumbersome to access all the layers.

My take: The shadows are in wearable shades, with a few brights mixed in. The shimmery ones are great, but the matte ones really “wowed” me…..great creamy texture and excellent pigmentation. They are very soft- so be sure you dab onto your eyelid, then blend. Lipglosses are nice and creamy, not dry and hard like some other “palette” form lipglosses. They are fairly sheer though. The blushes are super-pigmented, but might be a bit too shimmery for some. You can create so many looks with this set, and I think it’s a ridiculously great value for the money if you’re looking or high-quality product that you can experiment with.

Next up is the Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II

The nitty gritty: For $48, you get 16 AMAZING quality eyeshadows (8 best-selling shades, 8 brand-new ones), 2 trial sized 24/7 eyeliners in brown and black, and a sample size of the famous primer potion

Packaging: Sturdy, compact, and great for home or travel use. Nice sized mirror. Slightly annoying: having to pull out the drawer by a ribbon in order to access the shadows

My take: I love the consistency and color payoff of the shadows, but wish there were more matte options (they are all shimmery except one); however, there are some really beautiful and versatile shades in this palette! I am already a huge fan of the 24/7 liners, and black and brown are staples. The travel-sized Primer Potion (another must-have product in my opinion) is an added bonus. If you love Urban Decay and don’t mind wearing shimmery eyeshadows, this is a GREAT value and excellent for travel, too.

For a lipgloss set, I think the Smashbox WISH for a Perfect Pout is a must-have

The nitty-gritty: 2 full-sized lip enhancing glosses (one in my all-time favorite color POUT), 4 medium-sized glosses in great colors. $29 ($96 value)

Packaging: The set comes in a cute box as shown. The glosses all have doe-foot applicators. Would make a great gift (especially for yourself!)

My take: Since I already love Pout lipgloss and enjoy the texture/finish of Smashbox glosses in general, I was mainly wanting to check out the shades included in this set. When I swatched them in store, I loved every one of the colors (the deepest shade is a juicy sheer raspberry which is gorgeous for fall/winter)! The smaller tubes are great to throw in your purse or travel bag. If you’ve never tried these glosses, they are great- shiny, not too sticky, mild and pleasantly scented, and gorgeous colors to choose from!

Honorable Mentions

Korres Natural Beauty Necessities $39 ($104 value)

6 full size products for less than the price of the blush and lipgloss? I’m sold!!! I’m a huge fan of Korres and adore their value sets. Here you’re getting 2 eyeliners in must-have shades, a gorgeous pink blush, mascara, and 2 cherry oil lip glosses (see my YouTube review here).

An amazing deal if you want to experience Korres makeup for the first time, or if you’re already a fan and want to try some new products or shades.

Tarte Crown Jewels Lipgloss Multi-Gift Set $39 for 3 sets of mini lipgloss 5-packs

This is a cute and practical idea. You are getting a total of 15 mini lipglosses, packed in ready-to-give-as-gifts boxes (or if you just really lipglosses, keep the whole thing for yourself- you deserve it!).

I especially liked the top set of sheer, milky, pastel shades. They are slighly pigmented, shiny, and I love the variety of colors. The middle set is quite sparkly (almost like a MAC Dazzleglass), with sheer but colorful pigmentation. The last set has a nice subtle shimmer with a bigger punch of color.

They are small, but this is a fun set to try lots of different colors of healthy, yummy scented lipglosses.

~Happy shopping everyone!~

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